plura Financial Blog

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Corporate Jargon Translator – Part 1 (Stuff Managers Say)

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                Corporate Jargon Translator

                                 

If you’re thinking about going into corporate America, you’d better understand the lingo first.  Here’s a quick guide for translating corporate speak.

Stuff Managers Say (and what it really means) in Corporate America:

I’m cautiously optimistic… (We’re going to lose money…)

We’re exploring strategic partnerships (We’re trying to sell this thing before the wheels fall off)

We’re going to make a right shift (We’re about to fire a bunch of people)

We need to right size the business (We’re about to fire a bunch of people)

Reworking the blueprints of the business (We’re about to fire a bunch of people)

At the end of the day (We’ll be fine eventually, but in the meantime it’s gonna get messy)

It is what it is. (The answer is no, but I have no good rationale for it.)

We don’t know what we don’t know. (The answer is no, but I have no good rationale for it.)

From 30,000 feet… (I have no idea what’s going on, but here’s what I was told by my Analyst 5 minutes before this meeting…)

We need to put pen to paper (You’re going to have to pull an all nighter on this)

We need to sharpen our pencils on this transaction (I’ve never even heard of this deal before)

I want to take your temperature (Here’s an idea that will be really good for our side)

Bifurcate (split)

We’re not going to cut our nose off to spite our face (…although once again out of context, I finally said this right!)

We need to kick this sleeping dog (Get this deal done or you’re a goner)

Let’s keep it simple (This doesn’t make any sense and you just wasted 5 hours working on a chart that nobody will ever read or understand)

We need an incentive based on aligning objectives (We need to be paid more money before I can approve this)

Balancing your point with the practical implication that… (You’re an idiot)

Split the baby  (We better be getting paid for this)

We need to craft a backdoor mechanism (We need to get paid without anyone else knowing about it)

Let’s create a side letter (We need to get paid without anyone else knowing about it)

You need to think outside the box (Find a way to get it done and leave me alone)

First gauge their appetite for … (Let’s see if they’ll fall for it before we put any real work into this)

I find that to be reasonable but there are all sorts of shades of grey (They’ll never go for that)

This is a win/win (Everyone has successfully been tricked into believing this is a good deal)

It’s a no brainer (Everyone has successfully been tricked into believing this is a good deal)

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This article was written by James Timberview, featured in www.plurafinancial.wordpress.com, the blog for plurafinancial.com – the online matchmaker between banks and small businesses seeking debt.  Special thanks to Brandon Hinkle and Joe Polaneczky, who contributed several corporate catchphrases to this think piece.  All rights reserved.

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Written by entrabanker

March 25, 2012 at 4:01 pm

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